Recent blog posts

Laslo Boyd: Back away from your television

It’s almost August, a traditional time for vacations, the absence of anything important in the news, and an opportunity to give your electronic devices a rest.  Even though most of us won’t take up that opportunity, you can be pretty certain that you won’t have missed much if you do. I know, I know, how could you possibly not watch the Republican Presidential debate on August 6?  The appeal is a bit like watching a NASCAR race and waiting for a crash.   First, there will be the edge of the seat suspense about who gets to participate.  Think about that for a minute.  Does it really matter which of the candidates doesn’t get into the televised debate?  Would you really think it was a more enlightening evening if Bobby Jindal were there? And for the lucky 10 who are anointed by Fox as debate worthy, do you actually expect a... Continue reading
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Center Maryland Policy Spotlight Series: Land (Mis)Use, Part I

Overview: Here at Center Maryland, we’ve long been believers in a simple idea: in order to connect readers, voters, and decision-makers with the facts, you have to separate those facts from partisan identity, geographic favoritism, or agenda. And while our motto – “News Straight Down The Middle” – is all about inclusiveness and fairness, it also suggests a certain spirit of honest inquisitiveness; instead of occupying an echo chamber, we’re interested in exploring the tough issues and examining both sides of an argument before coming to a conclusion. It’s in that spirit that we’re launching our Policy Spotlight Series, a way for Center Maryland to provide written insight into the difficult and critical issues facing our state and in our region. In the past, we’ve used different vehicles to explore these issues – our Inside The Headlines video series has tackled pressing news, our Inside Out video series has introduced readers... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: A First for Chris Van Hollen

As he plows ahead with his campaign for the Democratic Senate nomination against Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Chris Van Hollen finds himself in unchartered territory: For the first time in a competitive race, he’s the favorite of the party establishment. That certainly wasn’t the case in 2002, when Van Hollen, then a state senator, competed in an epic Democratic congressional primary against then-Del. Mark Shriver (D). While the Democratic intelligentsia and party activists were more or less divided, and both candidates were lining up endorsements from fellow elected officials, the national establishment tilted heavily toward Shriver. Uncle Ted Kennedy had something to do with that, procuring donations and labor endorsements for Shriver and keeping national environmental groups neutral even though they naturally gravitated toward Van Hollen. Rep. Steny Hoyer, then as now one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, made his preference for Shriver clear, though he stopped short of... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Emerging Global Markets Are Calling. Baltimore Is Listening.

Back in 2006, just before the recession, the largest export industry for the Baltimore region was chemical manufacturing. These days the largest export industry is computer and electronics products. That’s just one of the many changing dynamics for exports as the economy in the Baltimore region adjusts to supply and demand. More changes are no doubt in store for exports as business in the region responds to an increasing global marketplace.  In fact, when it comes to exports, the Baltimore region has a lot of assets to market and plenty of room to grow. That’s one of the key findings as the Global Cities Initiative in Baltimore moves forward. Baltimore is one of eight regions in the U.S. that was selected earlier this year by the Brookings Institution to be part of the Global Cities Initiative Exchange’s 2015 group. This project aims to help leaders in select U.S. metropolitan areas reorient... Continue reading
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Lalso Boyd: It's Party Time

Maryland Democrats are planning to organize a party.  In the hope that it will turn out better than the 2014 version, they’ve picked two wild and crazy guys to make sure that people show up and all dance to the same tune.  Okay, maybe no one has ever called them wild and crazy, but Bruce Poole and Pat Murray certainly have the credentials to put together a party.  And Maryland Democrats definitely need a new party.  This need arises from a mix of one-time problems and long-term structural challenges. It might be tempting to say that the 2014 state election was disastrous for the Dems entirely because they had a not-ready-for prime time candidate who ran a dreadful campaign.  While that does have more than a little truth to it, the party’s problems go beyond Anthony Brown’s missteps last year. Looking back over more than two decades of elections, Democrats, despite... Continue reading
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